One of the biggest home-selling myths!

I recently read this article on the Texas Association of Realtors website.  The short post addresses a few of the most common myths about home-selling.  All three points are spot on- but I liked this one in particular:

Myth: If I price my home higher than market value, I’m leaving room for negotiations.

Truth: Buyers have no idea you’re employing this strategy and won’t understand why your price is too high. Many won’t even view your home, much less put in an offer. When your home is priced improperly, it’s more likely to sit on the market, making potential buyers think there’s something wrong it. When that happens, you’ll probably wind up with lower offers than if you had priced the home fairly at the start.

Home sellers in the Austin area are in maybe the hottest seller’s market we’ve ever seen.  However, REALITY CHECK:  A seller’s market doesn’t mean a stupid market!  What’s really interesting about our current market is that buyers have also never been more savvy than they are now.  Prospective home buyers have access to more information at their fingertips than at any other point in human history.  Many buyers in the modern era know- even without the help of a Realtor- if a home is overpriced.

Even in this crazy seller’s market, overpricing is by far the most costly mistake you can make when selling your home.



Barrett Raven


February Market Update! (January’s numbers…and 2016 Wrap-up!)…from the Outback!

February Market Update! (January’s numbers…and 2016 Wrap-up!)…from the Outback!

Wow!  It’s been a wild and crazy start to the year!  I’ve been focusing (apart from normal business activities) a lot on trying to get all of my blog posts cleaned up and reformatted- starting with the oldest.  After moving brokerages back in October, I also changed blogging platforms and moved all of my YouTube videos over to my personal YouTube account.  Sounds easy, right?  HAH!  So, apologies for the scarcity in new blog posts as of late- but they’re coming!

Me and my other homies on the board of Austin Young Real Estate Professionals at the Austin Board of Realtors’ (ABOR) event where we celebrated the year that was 2016 and looked forward, with hope, at the prospects of 2017 with the installation of our new ABOR President, Brandie Guthrie.  Woohoo!

In light of that, what better way to come back than with a 2016 year-end wrap-up!  Unless you’ve been living under an enchanted rock, you know that 2016 was a nutty year in Austin real estate.  You’re either feeling squeezed by rising rental rates or rising property taxes.

It’s a catch-22 really.  I mean, we love Austin because it’s an amazing city to live in.  Almost no one can deny that.  However, because it’s such an amazing city, the number of people wanting/willing to relocate here is ever-increasing.  For those of you feeling the financial squeeze of housing costs, I hate to tell you- but I think the pressure will continue for a while.  The good news:  I don’t think the acceleration of the intensity will be quite like it has been the past few years.

Check out the video below where I break down Austin’s most recent market numbers for the month of January.  Additionally, I go over the stats for 2016 as a whole and attempt to take stock of where the heck we’re at with the housing market in this sweet town.  (If the video doesn’t show up below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel!)



Barrett Raven

A market update for normal people…(aka-November’s Market Stats Update!)

The Austin Board of Realtors recently released the market statistics for the month of October.  Check out the video at the bottom of this post for an update!

Market Stats (2).jpg
The face of new construction in Austin.  Not exactly what I’d call affordable.  (But if you think you can afford this house, call me.  Right now.

This month is a very basic stats update focusing solely on the city of Austin (proper).  If you were to ask almost any Austin real estate agent What’s the market doing right now?, they will tell you that change is in the air.  I’m not saying we need to brace ourselves for a market crash or anything- but something is changing.  I’ve spoken with several listing agents in recent weeks who say things like, “We’re getting lots of showings but no offers.” or “We can’t get anyone through the dang door!” or “I’m dreading talking to my seller about a price reduction…but that’s definitely going to have to happen.”

I recently had the following exchange with an agent-friend of mine:
Agent:  My listing has been on the market for months.  This market is declining!
Me:  I think you’re just overpriced.  
Agent:  But my seller thinks we’re priced correctly.
Me:  Your seller is crazy.  (or just delusional)
Agent:  But there are lots of homes that are not selling right now.
Me:  Lots of sellers are crazy.

Seriously, though, I don’t think the Austin market is in decline.  We still have the same problem we’ve had for years:  Significantly more people want to move here than those who want to move away.  Regarding my friend’s predicament- I’m sure that if they were to reduce the price gradually each week by $10,000, they would end up selling it at a price that is about 8% more than they could have sold it for at this time last year.  Instead, they are likely trying to sell the property for 25% more than they could have sold it for last year, which is insane.  Our market can support moderate appreciation; it cannot support insanity.

Keep up with the blog for future market updates!  (If you don’t see the video below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel!)

Barrett Raven

Math Lesson! (September’s Market Stats Update for August)

The Austin Board of Realtors just released the newest round of stats for the month of August.  Check out the video below where I break down (what I think are) the most important take-aways!  Everyone knows this market is a bit nutty.  But how nutty is it, you ask?  Watch the video and judge for yourself!

If the video doesn’t show up below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel.

The Beast (July’s Market Stats Update for June!)

The Austin Board of Realtors recently release their June stats for the Austin area.  Honestly, last month was more of the same (for the most part).  Average and median prices are increasing; inventory is super-tight; more and more Austinites are moving to the suburbs for more reasonable prices; at the same time, migration to Austin is growing evermore!.


What I personally find interesting is digging into the numbers of specific areas/zip codes.  Check out the video below where I take a tiny dive into the stats of one central Austin zip code.


If the video doesn’t show up above, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel.


"Williamson vs. Travis County"…(June’s) May Market Stats Update!

If you are a home-seller in Austin, TX, you’ve still got the upper hand.  As long as you are priced somewhere in the range of what’s reasonable, you should sell very quickly…and you’ll likely have several interested parties.  Multiple offers have really become the norm.

Background photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
In the video below, though, I talk a bit about an area that is growing significantly in popularity.  With pretty good schools, easy access to I-35, MoPac, HWY 183, etc., and relatively affordable prices, Williamson County (Cedar Park, Round Rock, Leander, Georgetown, etc.) is experiencing somewhat of a boom.      

The Austin Board of Realtors just released their market stats numbers for May 2016.  Check out the video below where I run through some of the numbers!  (If the video doesn’t show up below, check it out HERE on my YouTube channel.)

Barrett Raven
C:  512-970-2648
O:  512-910-7403

My Four Favorite Hidden Gem (food) Orders in Austin, TX

My level of expertise with food is similar to my level of expertise with coffee.  i.e. I am an enthusiast; I am not a connoisseur.  Austin has so many amazing options – a plethora of little pockets to explore that each have their own gems to discover- it’s almost paralyzing just to think about where to eat on date night!  One could literally spend a lifetime exploring all of the great restaurants and eating establishments in our city and you would barely scratch the surface.  (If you ever need a good recommendation in any part of town, holler at me!)

In the interest of staying true to form (haha), I must preface this post with a few disclaimers/caveats:
  • This is a post about a few of my favorite orders in town.
  • This is not a post about my favorite restaurants- although there is some overlap.
  • There is no way I have even sampled 10% of what Austin has to offer.  I want to hear about your favorite orders too!
  • I am not a vegetarian, vegan, etc.  I don’t have any food restrictions (except that I’m allergic to quinoa…WHAT?!).  So, apologies in advance if I’m alienating my non-bread/carb/meat/whatever-eating friends.  

In no particular order, here are four of my favorite things to order in Austin:

#1 Home Slice Pizza– 1415 S Congress Ave (The Italian Sub w/Cherry Peppers)

Fun fact:  Right after I graduated from UT, I worked at Home Slice Pizza…for two weeks!  The amazingness was too much for me to handle.  So, I went back to working at coffee shops for a while.  During my training at Home Slice, though, I had the opportunity to try almost everything on the menu.  (It’s all good.)  My manager at the time, an awesome guy from Philadelphia named “Nano”, recommended that I try the Italian sub with cherry peppers.  He said, “Dude, I’m from Philly- the land of the sub sandwich.  I’m telling you now:  this is the best sub I’ve ever had.  The first time I bit into it, I literally cried.  It was that good.”  He wasn’t kidding.  Here’s what you do:

Ira can’t not order pizza at Home Slice!

Get the full-sized sandwich (not the half-size).  Only eat half of it at the restaurant (which will blow your mind) and ask for the second half to-go.  Go home and put the remaining half in your fridge and leave it there overnight.  The following day, for lunch, take the sandwich out, eat the rest, and write me a “thank you” card afterward.  It turns out, after the juices/flavors have had time to mix and blend with one another overnight, it’s almost like you’re eating a completely different sandwich.  I’ll stop there…I’m getting hungry.

#2 Chez Nous– 510 Neches St (The Prix Fixe Menu)

“In the late 70s, three friends came from Paris, France to Austin, Texas with their hearts full of hopes and their minds set on opening a true, simple, independent French restaurant in the “Violet Crown City”.”  This quote comes from Chez Nous’s website.  All I can say is:  Mission ACCOMPLISHED!  This is truly one of my top 3 favorite restaurants in town.  Go and get a glass of wine and enjoy the prix fixe menu options.  You will not regret it!  

Date Night at Chez Nous!
Last month, I had a freaking amazing glass of Les Galets de Sauveterre (red wine) and the prix fixe, which included Soupe du jour, Bifteck haché au poivre (Ground ribeye and sirloin steak-pepper sauce-spiral potatoes), and Profiterolles for desert (TWO FILLED PASTRY PUFFS•AMY’S VANILLA ICE CREAM•WARM CHOCOLATE SAUCE), which was a couple dollars extra.  Our server, who has been waiting tables there for 13 years (!), said after I ordered, “Get ready for the most amazing hamburger steak you’ve ever dreamt of having.”  


Of course, you don’t have to go with the prix fixe menu.  However, I would argue that there is a reason they have paired these dishes together.  Trust them.  They know their stuff.

#3 Cenote– 1010 E Cesar Chavez St  (Turkey Avocado Sandwich w/Bacon)

Cenote is about 0.5 blocks from the GoodLife Realty office.  Therefore, I am there, on average, about 0.5 times per day.  I even frequent this place on weekends when I don’t go into the office.  (Try their breakfast!)  The first day I walked into Cenote, they were playing Ryan Adams and the Cardinals (Cold Roses) on the speaker system.  So, I knew I’d like this place.  I told the barista I was really hungry for lunch and asked what she eats when she’s on shift.  I also said I couldn’t decide between the BLT and the turkey/avocado sandwich.  She said, “Get both!  Get the turkey/avocado with bacon.  That’s what I get.”  

Kristen going yard on some Cenote breakfast last fall.
I almost wish my tastebuds had never tasted this majestic sandwich…because now every sandwich tastes…lame.  (except for the Italian sub at Home Slice, of course!)  I’ve heard a rumor that they put a different (thinner) type of bacon on the sandwich if you order online.  So, in order to prevent that potential tragedy, I have only ever ordered in-person.  Therefore, I can neither confirm nor bust this myth.

#4 Julio’s Cafe 4230 Duval St (1/2 Chicken Special w/Extra Tortillas and a Mexican Martini)

Cash only!  Julio’s in Hyde Park is another one of my favorite restaurants in town.  This place is just good good good Mexican food.  I have no idea what they do to their roasted chicken to make it taste so amazing.  (I used to have a theory that they sprinkle crack on it.)  But I don’t care.  It’s incredible.  Our process is this:  take a tortilla and stuff some chicken, Spanish rice, pinto beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and salsa into it, take a bite, and let the comfort overtake you.

Julio’s!  Kristen just loves helping me research for these blog posts.  🙂
My wife, Kristen, and I always order a Mexican martini shaker and two glasses.  One martini split in two is plenty…for most people.  When you consider the price of this tex-Mex goodness, you will be sure to return again and again.  You can also walk over to Quack’s or Dulce Vida for desert!

Again, let me know what your favorite ATX hidden gem/secret orders/off-the-menu specials are!

Barrett Raven
C:  512-970-2648
O:  512-910-7403